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House Approves Terror Insurance Reauthorization

Washington, January 7, 2015 - The House on Wednesday approved, by a vote of 416-5, a bipartisan, six-year reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) with taxpayer protection reforms and a clarification of a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that is currently threatening jobs at Main Street businesses even though they had nothing to do with the 2008 financial crisis.

The bill is the same bipartisan measure that the House passed last month by a vote of 417-7.  However, Senate Democrats, preferring gridlock, refused to bring that House-passed bill up for a vote before Congress adjourned, so TRIA expired on Dec. 31.

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), the sponsor of the bill, said “This reform bill doubles the taxpayer protection trigger, decreases federal share of losses, and encourages greater private sector participation in the terrorism risk insurance market. With the inclusion of NARAB, local insurance agents and brokers in Abilene, Texas and across America may also be licensed on a multi-state basis all while retaining essential state regulatory authority. Finally, the legislation provides relief for our farmers, ranchers, and small business owners who have been the target of some of Dodd-Frank’s most inefficient and ineffective rulemaking.”

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, noted that the technical clarification to Dodd-Frank has long been supported by members of both parties.  “This clarifies that Main Street businesses, farmers and ranchers – who had nothing to do with the 2008 financial crisis – will no longer be subject to an onerous misinterpretation of the language of Dodd-Frank.  Both former Chairman Barney Frank and former Chairman Chris Dodd, as well as Ranking Member Waters, have said this misinterpretation is a mistake.

“This is a very technical clarification to what we call the end-user provision, which is perhaps the most expensive and unnecessary regulation that Americans have never heard of,” said Chairman Hensarling.

In addition to reauthorizing TRIA for six years, the bill includes reforms to double the amount of losses from a terrorist attack that would result in a government backstop from $100 million to $200 million.  Other reforms included in the bill will ensure that taxpayers are compensated for the use of their dollars in the event they are called upon under TRIA to backstop losses resulting from a terrorist act.

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